What is Companionship and Community?

Editorial Board

September 21, 2021

Excerpts from the book “Back to Basics: The Justice and Spirituality School” [not published yet]

Translated from the Arabic by the Editorial Board


Companionship for the sake of God is love for the sake of God, coupled with building bonds of brotherhood, sisterhood, and mercy. This Companionship raises the newcomer to our circles in the degrees of love of God and His Messenger. Community means organization. It is impossible to effectively confront the powers of disbelief and oppression if you are scattered and disorganized. There is a tension between the organized movement and its rules, structures and responsibilities on the one hand, and the gentleness required for bringing hearts together on the other. Therefore, only those of strong Iman are capable of remaining firm in the arena of activism. Three characteristics prevent these strong believers from retreating and falling behind: their absolute trust in God, their high opinion of God’s servants, and their patient bearing of the harm that befalls them from both their brothers and their enemies – all for the sake of God.

The path of love for the sake of God is not free of obstacles. It is obstructed by love of leadership and authority, and by limited experience in dealing with others with gentleness and mercy. Some will claim to seek God, but when the chance to achieve an air of authority and superiority over their peers flashes before their eyes, “they forget God, so he causes them to forget themselves. Such are depraved transgressors.” Q(59:19).